Samaris create new Iceland saga
A Walk-on Part: The Fall Of New Labour
Soho Theatre, London W1
Until April 14
Adapted for the stage by Michael Chaplin from the book by Chris Mullin this play is an insider’s view of the new Labour era. Based on the diaries of the former MP for Sunderland South, it reflects on three worlds during a time of crisis and change in the Westminster political village, his experiences in Africa which he toured as a minister and the community he served as an MP. Sometimes irreverent and witty, it inevitably focuses on Mullins’s relationship with person he calls “the Man,” our war criminal ex-prime minister.
LONDON: Visual art
Whitechapel Gallery, Whitechapel High Street, E1
Until June 17
The films and photographs of Gillian Wearing explore our public personas and private lives and in fly-on-the-wall documentaries, reality TV and theatre techniques she explores how the individual presents themselves to the world. This exhibition aims to present a comprehensive survey of Wearing’s work, including new films and sculpture, and also features her 1992 series Signs that say what you want them to say, and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say, where strangers are offered paper and pen to communicate their message. The political significance of her work, such as it is, resides in her focus on the dispossessed or the traumatised.
SWINDON: Solo show
Anna May Wong Must Die!
Tuesday 10 April 2012
Arts Centre, Devizes Road
In this personal journey through the life and crimes of Hollywood’s first Chinese screen legend, Anna Chen performs her hour-long multimedia-illustrated exploration of the Chinese in the West. That starts from her own childhood in Hackney with “the sounds of Beatlemania screaming in one ear and Chinese Red Guards yelling in the other” to her discovery of Anna May Wong, the most famous Chinese woman in the world in the 1920s and ’30s. This fascinating look at the movie icon dismantles Chinese stereotypes and reveals the human side of the dragon lady of dragon ladies. With writer Charles Shaar Murray and Marc Jefferies playing live musical accompaniment.
Can You Keep A Secret?
The Rise & Fall of the Yorkshire Luddites
Until May 31
Two hundred years ago there was rioting in the streets, the worst economic crisis for decades and a long war fought abroad with no sign of progress. That sounds eerily familiar, but that was England in 1812 — the background to Mikron Theatre’s new touring show in the bicentennial year of the Luddite risings. Then textile mill workers fought for their livelihoods by smashing up the machinery designed to replace them. The show poses questions about whether the risings were a fight for rights or fear of progress, direct action or mindless vandalism. Mikron is certainly well placed to pose such questions as the risings took place around Marsden, West Yorkshire, where the company’s based. Humour, history and harmonic arrangements are promised during a tour of venues large and small.